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A-Level Physical Education

Teacher in charge of Subject

Mr J Sheppard
Head of PE


This is an ideal course for those students wishing to extend their Physical Education knowledge further and is an excellent extension to GCSE Physical Education. A-Level PE will provide you with the gateway to a broad and interesting range of jobs and careers; ranging from PE teaching or coaching to Sports Therapy, Sports Psychology to Sports Marketing or Management.

The course will test students’ understanding of the various disciplines that ensure success in sport and will give them an insight into how they have got to where they are and how to progress within their own sports.

A Level PE gives the student, who has an interest in PE, an in-depth analysis of how we perform within a sporting context. The course covers six main disciplines – Skill Acquisition, Sports Psychology, Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics and the Socio-cultural aspects surrounding Sport.

  1. Course Title

    A-Level Physical Education

  2. Exam Board and Specification No.

    OCR (H555)

What do I need to have studied/have knowledge of?

A minimum requirement of a grade 6 at GCSE PE is required, with an aptitude for sciences being advantageous. A-Level candidates need to be participating at club level in their strongest sport and have a keen interest in and knowledge of sport.

Candidates should also be aware that the course is predominantly theory based and despite having a practical element to the assessment, lessons will be largely theoretical.

What will I learn on this course?

During the first year of the course students will follow two distinct strands with their two teachers, each of which having three separate units.  They will discover how we develop physical skills, through the ‘Skill Acquisition’ unit. They will also develop an understanding for the psychological side of sport, through ‘Sports Psychology’ and will then explore the origins and development of sports in the ‘Socio-cultural aspects’ unit.  The second strand includes ‘Anatomy and Physiology’ that delves into how the human body operates and performs, ‘Exercise Physiology’ which approaches how sport, training and exercise can be used to best prepare performers and ‘Biomechanics’ in which students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the analysis of movement through a mechanical breakdown of physical activity.

In the second year, students will again follow two strands within which are three units of work. The ‘Anatomy and Physiology’ unit looks in greater depth at how the body’s energy systems function during sport and exercise.  They will then learn about sports injuries and rehabilitation, for when the human body breaks down, before continuing to develop their ‘Biomechanics’ knowledge away from the performer, towards an understanding of the other aspects of performance can be manipulated to maximise performance.

‘Skill Acquisition and Sports Psychology’, builds upon the work covered in year 12 and begins to apply theories to sporting situations.  The final unit ‘Sport and Society’ focuses on issues in sport such as drugs, media and violence and their relationship with wider society.

What key skills will I develop?

The qualification aims to equip students with skills and knowledge required for higher education or the world of work by providing opportunities to acquire Key Skills in communication, Independent learning and thinking, Information and Communication Technology, working with others, problem-solving and improving their own learning and performance.

How will I be assessed?

3 Paper covering all 6 units;

One 2-hour long (‘Physiology & Biomechanics’ – worth 30%),

Two 1-hour long (‘Sports Psychology & Skill Acquisition’ and ‘Socio-cultural Aspects in Sport’ – both worth 20%).

NEA (Non-Examined Assessment): Practical Assessment of Performance or Coaching along with a Verbal Performance Analysis Assessment.

Internally assessed and externally moderated. The NEA element is accounts for 30% of students’ overall grade.  Students will be assessed in 1 practical activity or have the choice to coach their preferred sport, which involves completing a logbook of multiple coaching hours. They also have to complete a verbal performance analysis task, which involves identifying a performers strengths and weaknesses and developing an action plan to improve their priority weakness. Students will be expected to collate video evidence of their performance and attend a mandatory external moderation held by the exam board, towards the end of year 13.

What could this course lead to?

Physical Education is essential for students planning to go on to university-level study in areas such as; Sports Science, PE teaching, Coaching, Sport Management and Sports Development. It is also advantageous for those pursuing a job, apprenticeship or career in the Leisure Industry.  The course provide an excellent foundation for candidates intending to pursue careers in teaching and coaching, sports management and development, the leisure industry, sports marketing, health, leisure and fitness and professional sport.

Possible pathways include; Sports & Exercise Sciences, Biomechanics, Sports Psychology, PE Teaching, Sports Journalism, Sports Management, Sports Psychology, Coaching, Physiotherapy, Sports Development, Sport & Leisure Facility Design, Sociology of Sport, Motor Sport Engineering, Sports Bio-medicine.

Additional events, trips or enrichment activities

We will be providing all students with numerous opportunities to coach and lead our younger students, we also run university visits, provide opportunities to play recreational sport at C6 and provide the opportunity to attend our Sporting futures event that includes talks from external agencies such as; US scholarships, coaching opportunities and coaching apprenticeships.

Are there any additional costs for this course?

Any visits to stadium, courses, Universities or residential trips will have an additional fee.

Who do I contact if I have any further questions?

Mr J Sheppard –

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